Part Four of a Four-Part Series

SFMTA Plan to Improve Muni: Getting You There Safely

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Friday, November 2, 2018

N Judah trains picking people up.

This summer, many Muni riders noticed a decline in service as we experienced a temporary shortage of bus operators. In August, Mayor London Breed called on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) to step up its efforts to provide the reliable and safe system that San Franciscans deserve. This blog is part four of a four-part series on our plan to set Muni on a sustainable path to providing excellent service and meet key performance targets within 90 days.

Over the past few days, we’ve discussed steps that Muni is taking to put service on the street and enhance service reliability as part of the SFMTA Plan to Improve Muni. Today, we will talk about our efforts to improve safety and security.

Overall crime trends on Muni are going in the right direction. Over the past year, crime on the Muni system has dropped by 9.3 percent. Assaults, in particular, have dropped by 43 percent. Yet we know security remains a concern for many Muni riders.

We want Muni customers to feel safe, whether on our vehicles or in our stations or shelters and are working to enhance public safety through a variety of measures, including:

  • Making upgrades to our video monitoring system
  • Centralizing video monitoring and installing a new real-time remote announcement system in our subway systems that will allow SFMTA’s control center to speak directly to customers to reduce anti-social behaviors
  • Providing the San Francisco Police Department with top enforcement priority locations on a bi-weekly basis to adjust to constantly changing conditions
  • Making targeted improvements to stations, including enhanced lighting and refreshed paint

These are all examples of near-term solutions that we are confident will have an immediate and noticeable impact on behavior within the Muni system.

Muni customers also have a right to feel confident that our vehicles will get them to their destination safely. While Muni is already meeting the city’s performance target for collisions, safety is one area where we will always strive to improve. In my August response to the Mayor, I committed the agency to continue to prioritize safety by further reducing preventable collisions by five percent, in line with the SFMTA’s Strategic Plan goals.

Our operators are highly-qualified, well-trained transit professionals who do a tremendously difficult job every day. Despite their commitment to their work and to our customers, collisions happen and it is our job to give our operators the tools and training to dispatch their job in a safe manner.

Every day, Muni transit operators help thousands of riders move throughout our city. To help them do their job safely, we are implementing a collision reduction program across all of our fleets (bus, light rail and cable car), which includes a sideswipe reduction program to address one of the most common types of collisions. We are refocusing our training and enforcement to address major rule violations and safety concerns and upgrading our video system to allow us to review footage of incidents more quickly.

We are taking proactive measures to enhance both the safety and security of our transit system. While we are proud of Muni’s safety record, we will always strive to improve to make our system safer and a more attractive transportation option for all San Franciscans.

Thank you for reading our series of blog posts on the Agency Plan to Improve Muni. Stay tuned for more updates on the work we’re doing to make Muni the system our city deserves.